Is there some stigma with the word 'female' nowadays?

AmandaYVR
A few weeks ago or something, someone replied back to me somewhere, "Oh, you even used the dreaded "female" word." I forget the context. And then I think I saw it again later somewhere else on GAG. But I notice it's much more common for people to write "girls" or "women".

Did the meaning or practical common usage change? Does the word "female" now have some new negative connotation?

I'm not looking for some argument about females today. I'm looking at this purely from a semantics angle.

If there's nothing to it, that's fine. I just have had this feeling I might be missing something. As far as I know, girls/guys, men/women, males/females are all neutral descriptors.
Is there some stigma with the word female nowadays?
Updates:
1 mo
Well! That was very illuminating. Thank you, all. I had no idea I was narrowly avoiding walking on a land mine 💣 I understand now. Lots of layers to it.

Here's some cute kitties to lighten things up:
https://i.imgur.com/EAPPKfc.jpg
Is there some stigma with the word 'female' nowadays?
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